CCKA Staff Picks: Recipe Round-up

April 9th, 2020

If you are able to work remotely like we are, you may be finding yourself with extra time to spend in the kitchen these days. CCKA staff have shared some of their favorite recipes in case your old standbys aren’t as appetizing the fourth week in a row.

Sean Bothwell, Executive Director – Poke Bowl

It was painful to decide what recipe I would choose, but I am going with my all-time favorite poke inspired by Sara Aminzadeh (my mentor and former CCKA Executive Director). While CCKA’s office is right across the street from the State Capitol, Sara and I always struggled to find a decent Sacramento lunch spot (we’re kind of food snobs). That is until Sara found Fish Face Poke Bar. The spot is slightly too far to walk in a suit during the heat of Sacramento summers – but it’s worth it!

For the protein you can really go with any seafood, but please consult the Seafood Watch Guide to choose a sustainably caught option. I personally like local salmon, squid, or yellowfin ahi (if sustainably caught). You want to cut your seafood protein into 1-inch cubes, and then let marinate in 6-parts soy sauce, 2-parts sesame seed oil, and 2-part rice wine vinegar – enough to cover the protein. Add a pinch of red chili flakes and stir. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 – 3 hours (give it a stir every 30 minutes). When you are ready to eat, start by breaking up 2 cups of macadamia nuts and toasting in a medium skillet (watch careful so they don’t burn). Once brown, set aside. Then finely chopping 4 gloves of garlic and toast in skillet with olive oil just coating the pan (again watch carefully so they don’t burn – are you sensing a pattern that I burn things?). Once brown, remove onto a paper towel and pat dry, let cool. If you have a mandolin slice 2-3 jalapenos thinly and add to the seafood. Cube 2-3 avocados and add to the seafood. Cut one bushel of green onions and add to the seafood. Once the nuts and garlic have cooled add them to the seafood and stir all ingredients. Coat with sesame seeds and stir again. Then it’s ready to serve with chopsticks. You can add forbidden black rice if you want a heartier meal. Enjoy!

Natalie Caulk, Associate Director – Baked Beef and Black Bean Tacos

Although sheltering-in-place has afforded me more time in the kitchen, sometimes all I really want is something simple and comforting. Years ago, my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I started Taco Fridays, and this crispy baked beef and black bean taco recipe has been a staple. It’s budget-friendly, delicious, and that homemade taco seasoning is amazing. So amazing that we handed out little jars of it as our wedding favors last fall. These can be easily modified with your protein of choice and are sure to be family-friendly. Spending so much time cooking at home can feel like a slog, but throwing in sentimental favorites has helped bring joy back into the process. Oh, and pairing it with a good margarita doesn’t hurt, either.

Erin Clancy, Staff Attorney – Garlic Sriracha Noodles with Broccolini

In the time it would take to order and receive delivery, dinner is prepped, cooked and on the table with this dish.  I love trying new recipes, and this is one of my recent favorites to spice up our evenings that is easy and quick to make – something important with a four year old at home!  As with all of Thug Kitchen’s recipes, the directions are fun to read and follow.  And because it is vegan, I like to count it as a personal contribution toward ensuring future generations have clean water to drink, and clean air to breathe. 

P.S. – Are you a parent trying to work from home while also homeschooling during this pandemic?  Add in a cooking class to your daily routine with the kids!  This particular recipe is easy to make, delicious (according to my own picky little eater), and is from the book “The Help Yourself Cookbook For Kids” by Ruby Roth.  Here is an online description of the recipe:

Kaitlyn Kalua, Policy Analyst – Ginger Lemon Split Pea Soap

While I’m not usually the primary cook in my household, I – like so many others – have found myself turning more and more to the kitchen as a creative outlet while stuck inside. This is a recipe I fell in love with, not only because the lemon and ginger are soul-warming and immune-boosting, but because it is so delicious with such little effort!  

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon coconut oil or high-heat oil | 1 medium yellow onion, diced | 1 large leek, white & green parts chopped | 1 teaspoon fine sea salt | 5 garlic cloves, minced | 3 tablespoons peeled, minced fresh ginger | ½ tablespoon ground or fresh turmeric | 3 bay leaves | 3 celery stalks | 2 sweet potatoes | 1 cup yellow split peas, soaked for one hour, drained and rinsed | 6 cups (1.5 liters) vegetable broth | freshly squeezed juice of one lemon

(1) In a large stockpot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, and salt, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and begin to slightly caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, bay leaves, celery, sweet potatoes, and split peas. Toss to coat, then add the broth. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer covered 30 to 40 minutes, until the peas and sweet potatoes are tender.
(2) Just before serving, add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Categories: Happening Now